den: (Found stuff)
Toxic flame retardant found in tasmanian devils. Is this the cause of the lethal facial tumour disease?

And in other, unpublicized news, Western Plains Zoo (now renamed Taronga Western Plains) has a colony of 12 devils that are not on display. They are trying to get them to breed as part of the species rescue programme.
den: (Found stuff)
It's interesting seeing old prints of common animals. It's obvious the print maker didn't see the animals, he'd only had them described to him.

Greater Glider, Koala, and a pair of wombats playing with their litter.

Platypus, Echidna (with the back feet on backwards) and ... an armadillo? Damn those colonials! Can't they keep their bizzare animals in one place?
den: (rescues)
EDGE Top 100 Most Endangered Animals. It's sad that many of these have no protection program, possibly because they're not cute. The saddest part is that many of them may already be extinct.
den: (rescues)
I took a butcher bird to the zoovets for an examination to confirm the worst: a broken wing. It must have been painful because the bird wriggled with discomfort during the examination even though he'd been knocked out with anaesthetic. Metacarpals AND phalanges were broken, according to Ben. The poor little fellow was no going to be releasable, so Ben euthanased him.

I mentioned Fips and we got talking about echidnas. Ben suggested I bring Fips in for an examination and maybe even to determine the sex. So, early in the new year Fips gets to see the doctor. My greatest fear with animals is that I'm not looking after them properly. Is Fips getting enough calcium? Is he malnourished? Will someone I greatly respect shake his head at me and tell me I'm doing it wrong? We discussed the food and I discovered Biolact, the people who make Fips' milk, has made up a special formula for the zoo's baby rhino. So now I know who to see about milk the next time I rescue a baby rhino.

While Ben and I talked there were noises coming from the recovery room: a crash, Jo saying "NO! Stop that!" another crash, then the sound of someone running and a soft "tick tick tick" noise. Something heavy thudded into the door and it sprang open.

Standing not more than 8" high and blinking at the bright examination room, was a baby wombat. "Matilda!" called Jo, and the little animal turned and trotted back, her claws making a soft "tick tick tick" noise on the lino. Matilda almost reached Jo, then she turned and ran into the examination room. "Ran" is't the right word to describe a baby wombat at full-tilt. The right word would be something that means to bound and bounce and to move with a rocking-horse motion.

Matilda galumphed* into the room, her claws going "tickitytickitytickitytickitytickitytickity." She skidded to a halt at my feet, and in one quick move she sniffed my jeans and bit a lump out of the hem. Then she checked out my rescue box and bit a lump out of the bird perching stick, then wandered over to Ben and sat on his feet.

"Those are her favouritest boots in the world," said Jo.

Matilda stretched her front paws up to Ben's legs, then dragged her claws down his shin, causing ten parallel red welts to rise on his skin. "Yes, they are," said Ben through clenched teeth as Matilda bit a lump out of her favouritest boots in the world.

Jo picked up the little wombat and Matilda lay back in her arms, radiating equal measures of cute and innocence. They will raise her for release back into the wild.

I'd better take my camera out there when Fips goes for his checkup.


*This sounds right, but has the wrong meaning.
den: (bastard)
It's fairly warm today, touching officially 30C but it's much hotter in the shed here. I have the A/C on, but that means the baby peewees can't stay inside. They are outside, getting exposed to Weather. Polly is outside, too. I'm on my own today and I need someone to be on guard dog duty. Polly is a dog, so she's half-qualified. She's not too fussed with being OUTSIDE, but the concrete near the rest-room is cool in the corner near the door, so she has set up a lookout post there to bark at visitors.

The peewees are in a cage on the other side of the shed, near the doors, where they beg for food from anything that moves.

Almost anything that moves. I heard their alarm sound and looked out the window to see a large grey tabby cat stalking towards them. It was flat on the ground, staring wide-eyed at the little birds and creeping forward. The cat stalked past the open door, not more than a metre from Polly's nose. The dog did not move a muscle. I wondered if she'd seen the cat, grabbed the broom and some handy throwing things, and prepared to dash outside. Polly had seen the cat. The right moment arrived, and she went

"Boff!"

I have never seen a cat levitate and try to turn itself inside out.There was a spray of stones and a cloud of dust as the cat shot across the yard, cleared the fence by simply rising into the air without jumping, and vanished through the hedge. Its noise woke the pack of chihuahuas over there, and they went off like a pack of wild rottweillers on helium.

Polly hadn't moved, apart from her tail which flopped up and down in the dust.

The peewees saw the movement and begged for food.

Polly is a Gooddog.
den: (silly)
"His foreign smell is the ultimate aphrodesiac, and the queen can't wait to get his genes off him."

David Attenborough on Naked Mole Rats, Wildlife On One.
den: (Photos)
Some photos I took at Port Macquarrie when I wasn't wearing a suit.



Flynn's Beach Resort, dragons, mangroves and a duck. )
den: (Found stuff)
Now goannas produce venom.

And bearded dragons are venomous too. Not only that, the venom contains crotamine which is found in rattlesnakes.

The good news is the lizards don't have the venom delivery system found in snakes and gila monsters. They'll give you a nasty nip but that's about it. With goannas I'm more worried about the claws on their feet, as anyone should be after visiting a mate in hospital with 100 stitches in their back and head after having a frightened goanna run up them.

Will everyone please stop finding dangerous Australian animals? Pretty soon the only safe animals will be some of the sheep.

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